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Previously known as the West Indies, the region known as the Caribbean is made up of over 7,000 islands. Thirteen of those islands are independent countries and include the well-known locations of Haiti, Jamaica, and Belize. The region is named for the Caribbean Sea, which is east of Mexico.
The Caribbean is a very popular vacation spot and many cruise ships sail here several times a year. When you first visit the Caribbean, it's easy to see why these islands are so popular. In general, the people of the Caribbean are among the friendliest and most open you will meet, and the weather is beautiful much of the year. Even during the coldest North American months, the weather in the Caribbean is generally still warm enough to allow swimming and water sports.
The pictures of beautiful, crystal clear waters and white-sand beaches seen in brochures are not deceptive. Most Caribbean locations are well known for their beautiful beaches, and the reputation is certainly well deserved. Whether you just want to lounge on a breathtaking, gorgeous beach and soak up some rays or go snorkeling with the exotic fishes, water sports and beach activities are easy to find on the islands.
Most islands in the Caribbean enjoy tropical climates all year. The dry season is usually from mid-December through mid-April. Things get a bit wetter from mid-April through mid-December. Temperatures typically range from around 21 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius, rarely deviating much from that range.
When to Go
In most cases, winter is peak season for tourists. During these times, hotels and resorts are normally significantly more expensive than in the low season. However, by making reservations in advance, you can often catch a good Caribbean hotel deal.
The giant party known as Carnival offers a great experience. The exact date of Carnival can vary from island to island, but it is most often held sometime between January and March. It pays to check ahead as some islands may hold their Carnival festivities during other months of the year.
While most hotels and shops are open year round, some hotels close for renovations during the low season, specifically from September through October.
Region Hotel Destinations in the Caribbean
Other Continent Hotel Destinations